SAMBRA welcomes professional VDQ qualification

Motor body repairer estimators and Insurance companies’ vehicle assessors play a crucial role in the daily lives of South Africans bridging the gap in the event of an accident, between the insurer and the motor body repairer to quantify damage to, or loss of a vehicle.

There are currently more than 4 000 short-term insurance assessors and estimators in the country. They operate however without a formal occupational qualification, and this was the reason for the initial drive to establish a formal VDQ (Vehicle Damage Quantification)) qualification which is endorsed by both the insurance and motor body repairer (MBR) sector. (Occupational Certificate: Vehicle Damage Quantifier: SAQA ID 99507)

SAMBRA, a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), has been integrally involved with the merSETA, in the curriculum development and meeting, amongst others, the qualification assessment specification requirements of the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), the custodian of occupational qualifications in South Africa.

The VDQ is an approved occupational qualification and registered on the country’s national qualifications framework. Several subject matters experts have subsequently been engaged and worked tirelessly to ensure that assessment tools meet the requirements of the QCTO.

SAMBRA eagerly awaits final approval by the QCTO, following submission of final documents (External Integrated Summative Assessment (EISA) & Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) assessment tool) by the merSETA.

The qualification combines a blend of technical and non-tech components.  The outcome of the VDQ curriculum is twofold. It provides insight into firstly what it will take to repair the vehicle’s damage, and secondly, how much will it cost to repair the damage.

Uvashen Bramiah, national director of SAMBRA, says this is an exciting qualification for current estimators and assessors to acquire. “It is based on the Recognition of Prior Learning assessment mechanism. It also has the potential to generate much needed employment for young individuals wishing to pursue a career in either the motor body repair or the vehicle insurance sectors.”

The nationally registered VDQ qualification also opens up opportunities for young people to embark on the journey to becoming qualified in this field.  Both employed and unemployed learners should be on the lookout for advertisements, bursary opportunities, or special programmes offered by, and through, accredited skills development providers. “Each and every young South African should strive for a qualification backed up by experience to differentiate themselves in the job market,” says Bramiah.

SAMBRA, with the full support of the RMI, is positioned and ready to introduce a pilot project with 15 candidates for the Recognitions of Prior Learning assessment process. “Typically, experienced estimators with the skills set to assess and quantify damage, will be eligible for this assessment process,” explains Bramiah. He notes that SAMBRA is further involved in exploratory work to identify training institutions, including public higher education TVET colleges, that can deliver the vehicle damage quantifier qualifications to the standards set by the QCTO and merSETA.

“This is a great opportunity to develop these estimators to become mentors for future candidates.  One of SAMBRA’s other core focus areas will be to get credible and reputable skills development providers (SDPs) ready for accreditation to become an Occupation Assessment Centre (OAC).

Uvashen Bramiah, national director of SAMBRA